Here are a few important points which play a major role in branding and setting the branding expectations right for your salon and spa.
Right off the bat – the spa business is a tough one and the sooner a spa entrepreneur realizes it, the better. Like any other business, this business, too, has its own set of rules and variables which every new entrant must acquaint themselves with. For those among you who are first time spa entrepreneurs and promoters, I would like to share some
You and your time
Most spa entrepreneurs usually make a shift to the spa business from another line of business. The knowledge and insights such professionals carry from their earlier vocations are a big plus and would certainly help. But when it comes to key components like spa design, construction, fit outs, testing and choosing the right spa products, signature treatments, training, hiring, government permissions and more, it is but natural that that they will find themselves completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things they have to be involved with and take decisions on. Therefore, focus on whatever comes easiest to you in this new business and leave the rest to specialists. Be involved, but only to stay on top of things. Educate yourself as you go along and do not only be a business head get involved creatively with treatments and products, too.
Positioning your spa
This is a decision you must make even before you put the first brick in the wall. The reason is simple, deciding which segment of clientele you wish to target and cater to will also decide the look, feel and tonality of your spa, which in turn decides what kind of brick will go into which kind of wall. Leaving a key decision like this for much later, will cause you to go wrong with not just the imagery of the spa, but also the placement, branding, price points and perception you wish for it to have. You must, therefore, have an idea of how your dream would look in concrete and what kind of clientele do you wish for it to cater to. Remember the LOOK plays a BIG part in positioning, perception and justifying price points.
This, as we all know is the litmus test for any business, and therefore, must be carefully considered and also keep in mind that you will consider revising the pricing by 7 to 10 per cent every two years. Before the launch, a good way to set your price points, is to look at what the competition is charging for a similar set of services, within a 10 to 15 kms radius around your location. For signature treatments, you can safely charge 20 to 30 per cent more since these treatments will be unique to your spa. Once you know the pricing spectrum, match it with the clientele you wish to target and set it down. It is of utmost importance that if whilst targeting the high end clientele, your services, training standards, spa etiquette, products, look, feel, tonality, systems and procedures must match the discerning tastes of the high end clientele. Merely having high price points will never set you apart. Remember, you must deserve what you wish to earn and justify the pricing you ask for.
Choosing a name
This is where it all begins, and this is where most go wrong. While choosing a brand name for your spa, it is important to consider the psychographics (tastes and behaviours) of the client base you wish to target. Most entrepreneurs feel that a name that sounds exotic or very ethnic (read Sanskrit) creates an aura of class and authenticity – dead wrong. So when choosing a name for your spa, keep in mind that it must have an aura and also must be easy to roll off the tongue. In choosing a name, you must also choose a story that goes with it –for instance, how and why did you decide on this particular name. Your reasons may be entirely personal and passion-led or they may have a therapeutic or spiritual connection. This will become critical when you send out launch-related press releases or create brochures and websites.
Registering the brand name
This is of utmost importance and has to be done as soon as you freeze on a name for your spa. It is recommended that you choose three or four brand names and get a search done on them before you arrive at a final one. Usually trademark attorneys will do this search for free, if they are assured of getting business from you vis-a-vis the registration. Once all the formalities are done, your brand name is applied for with the registrar. From the time of submission of application you may start putting ‘TM’ next to your brand name. It usually takes anything between six to nine months for a revert on brand names and once the registration comes through, you may replace the TM with ‘R’ (Registered). Once done, the brand name registration is valid for 10 years.